Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Caldwell, Mary Channen. “Conductus, Sequence, Refrain: Composing Latin Song across Language and Genre in Thirteenth-Century France.” Journal of Musicology 39 (April 2022): 133-78.

Three late thirteenth-century, refrain-form conducti that interpolate French refrains offer insight into the compositional processes of Latin conducti that engage in the rare practice of cross-genre and cross-linguistic borrowing. The interplay of musical and textual borrowing suggests that the unknown composers of these conducti conceived the music and text in tandem. Veni sancte spiritus spes, copied in GB-Lbl Egerton 274 (ca. 1275), adapts the text of the sequence of the same name and the melody of a French refrain En ma dame ai mis mon cuer et mon panser (vdB 662). The vdB 662 melody also appears in several motets, chansons, and a rondeau (with some variation), complicating its chronology. The form and scansion of Veni sancte spiritus spes draws on both the sequence and the refrain, creating a hybrid work with no clear distinction between borrowed and new material in both text and music. The northern French manuscript F-Pn lat. 15131 contains no musical notation, but the musical identity of the included Latin poems can be derived from the appearance of French and Latin refrains in their rubrics. The incipits Marie preconio and Superne matris gaudia demonstrate identifiable textual borrowing from sequences transmitted in other sources. The two incipits also have poetic scansion in common with French refrains, suggesting musical borrowing as well. Marie preconio is in this sense a “contrafact” of the refrain Amez moi douce dame amez (vdB 117) and Superne matris gaudia a “contrafact” of Par defaus de leaute (vdB 1476). The relationship between the scansion of Superne matris gaudia and its refrain source suggests that the composer adapted the Latin sequence to align with the French refrain form and rhyme scheme. These and many other examples of vernacular song citations in Latin conducti reveal an intertextual and intermusical borrowing practice that brings disparate “voices” into harmony.

Works: Anonymous: Veni sancte spiritus spes, GB-Lbl Egerton 274 (138-54), Superne matris gaudia, F-Pn lat. 15131 (169-71), Marie preconio, F-Pn lat. 15131 (171-74).

Sources: Anonymous: En ma dame ai mis mon cuer et mon panser, vdB 662 (138-54), Amez moi douce dame amez et je fere voz voulentez, vdB 117 (169-71), Par defaus de leaute que j’ai en amour trove me partire du pais. contra in latino, vdB 1476 (171-74).

Index Classifications: Monophony to 1300

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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